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Spodek (meaning "saucer" in Polish) is a multipurpose arena complex in Katowice, Poland, opened in 1971. Aside from the main dome, the complex includes a gym, an ice rink, a hotel and three large car parks. It was the largest indoor venue of its kind in Poland until it was surpassed by Kraków Arena in 2014.

Spodek
Katowice Spodek- Nowa elewacja.jpg
The Spodek arena after facade renovation in 2011
AddressAleja Korfantego 35, 40-005
LocationKatowice, Poland
Coordinates50°15′58″N 19°01′31″E / 50.26611°N 19.02528°E / 50.26611; 19.02528Coordinates: 50°15′58″N 19°01′31″E / 50.26611°N 19.02528°E / 50.26611; 19.02528
OwnerCity of Katowice
OperatorPTWP Event Center sp. z o.o.[1]
Capacity11,500
Acreage29 473 m²
SurfaceVersatile
Construction
Broke ground1964
Built1964-1971
Opened9 May 1971
Renovated2011[2]
Expanded2009[3]
Construction cost~800 million
ArchitectMaciej Gintowt & Maciej Krasiński from
Biuro Studiów i Projektów Typowych Budownictwa Przemysłowego (Warsaw)
Structural engineerWacław Zalewski
General contractorAndrzej Żórawski
Website
www.spodekkatowice.pl

The Spodek hosts many important cultural and business events. Music concerts are especially common non-sport events. It can hold around 11,500 people, although this number is in practice limited to 10,000 or even 8,000 due to stage set-ups obscuring the view. Its Polish name refers to a flying saucer since its iconic shape resembles a UFO. Spodek is a major contribution to the cultural significance of Katowice in Poland, especially for the younger generations. It has also been used as an unofficial logo for the city on posters promoting redevelopment in Katowice. Moreover, Spodek is home to ice hockey clubs in the winter months.

HistoryEdit

The idea of building a large venue originated in 1955, while Katowice was temporarily renamed Stalinogród. A contest was held to select the best design. Initially, it was to be constructed on the outskirts of town, but the Voivodeship National Council decided it should be built near the city center. A mining waste dump site classified "2A" was chosen for construction.

The classification "2A" indicated medium mining damage with a possibility of local cave-ins. While excavating the foundations, the workers dug through coal instead of soil. Soon after construction began, rumors of design flaws in the new building spread, including the rumour that the dome would collapse when the scaffolding was removed. Because of this, in 1964, construction was halted for 18 months. Spodek's architects and chief engineers entered the dome when the supports were dismantled as a response to those rumors; clearly they survived. Before opening the building to the public, endurance tests were conducted – 3,500 soldiers marched into the hall and vibration of the building was measured. The outcome was positive.

Throughout Spodek's history, rumors have circulated concerning the extent of disrepair at the structure, concealed cracks or even its "falling apart". However, these rumours are unsupported by any evidence.

TechnologyEdit

 
Night illumination of the façade
 
Spodek and Katowice centrum at night

Maciej Gintowt and Maciej Krasiński, architects of Spodek, designed the Spodek as one of the first major structures to employ the principle of tensegrity. The roof uses an inclined surface held in check by a system of cables holding up its circumference.

The structural engineer who conceived the unique tensegrity roof and made it work is Wacław Zalewski. His innovative structures include Supersam, a supermarket in Warsaw with a roof made up of alternating arches and cables, many unique industrial roofs in Poland, two basketball arenas in Venezuela with hanging roofs, the structure of the National Museum of Art in Caracas, the Venezuelan Pavilion at the Seville's Expo in 1992, and several bridges and roofs in South Korea.

Hosted eventsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ PTWP Event Center, nowy zarządca Spodka i MCK, wybrał firmę do pilnowania i sprzątania obu hal, Nasze Miasto (Katowice), 2016-05-04
  2. ^ Rozpoczął się remont elewacji Spodka katowice.gazeta.pl Gazeta Wyborcza Katowice, 8 March 2011.
  3. ^ https://archive.is/c8gZ sport.onet.pl, Onet.pl, Fotogaleria ze zmodernizowanego wnętrza Spodka
  4. ^ Kibice wywalczyli nam polskie mecze Archived 2009-04-14 at the Wayback Machine, 15 January 2007

External linksEdit